Today, Backline and the Black Mental Health Alliance announced a new partnership that will expand the organizations’ educational tools and mental health resources to vulnerable communities within the music industry. The organizations will develop custom educational curriculums and workshops to match the growing demand of music industry professionals in need of assistance. Resources and tools to be made available include PSAs, video livestream content, social media platforms campaigns, website tools and services and more.
Each non-profit organization is uniquely suited to do this work, having focused specifically on individuals who are living with depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns in the music industry, and in Black communities, respectively, in their mission(s). Since 1984, Black Mental Health Alliance has provided trusted resources, programs and services for Black people and vulnerable communities. Backline provides mental health and wellness programs unique to the music industry, including artists, managers, promoters, agents, labels, crew, and their family members.
The organizations detail a comprehensive strategy to educate, inform, and provide access to customized mental health resources, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in 2021. One critical piece will be to train the more than 150 mental health providers that make up Backline’s clinical referral network. Trainings will cover topics such as the history of systemic racism and racial microaggressions within the music industry, barriers to accessing mental health care within BIPOC communities, and how these challenges can present in the form of mental strife, psychological fatigue and emotional exhaustion.
Additionally, Backline and Black Mental Health Alliance will offer non-clinical trainings to other organizations serving the music population, including corporations and individuals within the music industry, with the goal of generating awareness about the specific mental health challenges that exist within the music business, which will lead to acknowledgment, understanding, respect and enduring action.
In order to address precisely how issues of race and racism have affected the mental health of the music community, Backline and BMHA have developed a survey to be distributed throughout the industry. The results of this survey will be used to better offer support, resources, services, referrals, workshops and trainings to those in need. [LINK TO SURVEY]
These training programs are the first step in ensuring that Backline’s services are appropriate for every community that is represented in the music industry, and overtly available to all. Diversity is a core tenant of Backline; the organization recognizes that mental health impacts everyone, but especially those who have faced the reality of systemic racism, prejudice, cultural invalidation, and who have been marginalized by societal norms.
Backline’s commitment to the Black community is the first step in making progressive action towards those who have been disproportionately left behind, disparaged, and stigmatized when it comes to mental health awareness and aid. Backline will also work this year to extend their outreach to music industry professionals from other marginalized groups and individuals, including those of Latinx, Asian, LGBTQ+, Indigenous, and the disabled community.